Why is that some homes sit on the market for a year while others sell like hot cakes? Frustrated sellers will blame a bad market. A good REALTOR® will tell you that often the slow sale is due to the listing price. If the home is overpriced, buyers will stay away. If the price is competitive with similar homes in the area and "shows" better than the competition it will have a better chance of being sold quickly.
Your agent will do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) which will generally show you the market activity and recent sales. An agent or appraiser will try to stay within a one mile range and look at sales within the last six months. However, sometimes the search has to be expanded to a larger area. Many houses are unique and have features that may be difficult to find in other homes that have sold. Typically your agent or broker will be able to recommend a realistic price range that will ensure you top dollar. As the seller, you will be involved in actually setting the listing price.
The amount of time you have to sell your home will help you and the agent determine your competitive price. Location and property condition are also significant factors. The economy and general market conditions will affect the positioning of your property in terms of price. In a good "sellers market" there is normally a lot of demand and a more limited inventory. You are likely to get top dollar for your property. In a bad or "buyers market" it is very important to price your home so that it stands out in the large inventory that may be on the market. The competition and lack of buyer makes it imperative to have an attractive price with the property "spruced up" to show well.
Being open and honest about what you see as the home's greatest strengths and biggest weaknesses will also help the agent get a better feel for how to best assess and market your home. It is helpful to look at your property as if you were the buyer. If your home is listed at the right price, you're well on your way to a speedy and fruitful sale.